Every year of a church start looks drastically different than the previous, and I find that as the church changes, so do the people. As we slowly upgrade our music equipment, church curriculum, and website, so too do our skills, gifts, and callings change and mold as we begin to look more like what God would have us to be, and less like what we once were.
I’ve worked as a manager for various restaurants and retailers across my late teens and early twenties, and in retrospect, I realized that my years of management experience failed to teach me how to inspire and lead others. Essentially, I had been taught how to communicate with a team, manage inventory, and do paperwork; but I had never really believed in a brand that inspired me to inspire others. This lack of experience had me coming into the church start fold a bit behind the learning curve. How was someone with no experience in leadership, vision casting, or church starting, suppose to start a church, cast the vision, and lead it? In those early years, I was constantly finding myself in a position where others were looking to me for answers, but I wasn’t convinced that I could satiate their need for direction. I mean, who was I in 2,000 years of church history to lead someone to foot of the cross or the work at his hand?
Every time that I start thinking this way, I remind myself of the apostle Peter. That guy was a fisherman from the boonies. He could hardly lead a fish to dry land, let alone a people to a God. Yet, Christ chose Peter to build the Church. In 1 Corinthians 1:27, Paul says that “God chooses what is foolish in this world to shame the wise.” It’s not smart business strategy, but it does sound like the counter-cultural Kingdom of God.
Through my church start, I have found that God doesn’t only use those who have incredible gifts and talents to do the work of his ministry. Rather, it’s often quite the opposite, like in my case. God calls us to follow him to the cross, a trek from where we are to where he is. How different did Peter look from when he worked his father’s trade to the crucifixion? What about Pentecost? So too, are we growing and changing. What will year three look like for our church? What does the next year of life look like at your church? Who is God moving and shaking? What does the Lord of all the earth have working in our midst?
The Church needs strong leaders. It needs people who can speak life into others and guide them by the hand to the space where Jesus is. I suppose this is what makes the apostle Peter such an interesting character. Christ didn’t choose Caesar to lead his Church. No, Christ chose a fisherman with a Galilean draw and a willing heart.